Transgender Week of Awareness 2023: Film Playlists & Lesson Plans

November 8, 2023

Every year, our community and allies observe Transgender Awareness Week from November 13-19, culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 which honours the memory of those who lost their lives due to transphobic violence. As we see a continued rise in transphobic violence and rhetoric in our communities, we need to work together to create safer environments for 2SLGBTQIA+ students. This week is an opportunity to raise visibility on trans lives and experiences and address issues that trans community members face.

For this year’s Transgender Awareness Week, Out In Schools has specially curated film playlists and lesson plans that educators can bring into your classrooms. To access films and lesson plans, educators can register to join our free Film Catalogue.

We recommend watching 1 short film per day and debriefing as a group using our associated Lesson Plans. At the end of the week, ask students to reflect on their favourite film and how they can make their school more welcoming for people of all gender identities and expressions!


Grades 5-7 (Playlist A)

Twin Sparks (4 min)

When a forest child’s inner fire spirit breaks loose, they frantically try to catch it before damage is done.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Stealth (21 min)

Sammy is a transgender child. When the threat of a betrayal arises at her new school, Sammy must decide whether to run or live as her whole self.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Pete (7 min)

The heartwarming true story of an eight-year-old kid in the ‘70s who wanted nothing more than to join the boys’ Little League team.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Grades 5-7 (Playlist B)

The Name (2 min)

Conflicted and alienated by his given name, a young trans kid tries to hide his identity from his mom and divides himself in two to live a double life.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Kumu Hina (24 min)

In this powerful documentary, eleven-year-old Ho’onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner-city Honolulu school.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

The Real Thing (7 min)

A father comes home from serving in the military and re-meets his daughter for the first time since she came out as transgender.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Feel free to mix and match any of the incredible films in Playlists A and B for Grades 5-7!

Grades 8-9

A Typical Fairytale (12 min)

A young couple have a fairytale love story but are interrupted by their child’s divergence from the classic narrative. This quirky story about love and acceptance is ALL IN RHYME!

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Woman Dress (5 min)

Featuring archival images and dramatized re-enactments, this film shares a family oral story of a Two Spirit person named Woman Dress.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Anemone (17 min)

Non-binary teen Anemio finds respite from her conservative Christian family at the marine livestock shop where they work, comforted by the anemone and hermaphroditic marine creatures.

Watch

Grades 10-12

MnM (15 min)

Chosen siblings Mermaid and Milan Garçon find community and belonging in New York’s ballroom scene.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Schuyler Bailar (13 min)

Schuyler Bailar is a decorated swimmer and the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport. He was recruited to Harvard as a female athlete and transitioned while continuing to compete and advocate for trans inclusion.

Watch
A child hugging an orange figure made of fire from behind with a sad expression on both their faces.

Ur Aska (7 min)

Two women live happily together until one starts to transform, disturbing their usual dynamic. The one left unchanged has to decide how far their love goes.

Watch
Still from the animated short Ur Aska featuring two people smiling with their eyes closed and foreheads touching.

We have partnered with ARC Foundation and the filmmakers behind feature documentary Changing The Game to offer educators a  free virtual screening of the film followed by a curated discussionChanging The Game follows three transgender high school athletes in the U.S. competing in their sports while challenging the boundaries and perceptions of fairness and discrimination.

When you register for the webinar, you will be given access to watch the full film between November 13-20 and then join us for a Lunch-n-Learn post-viewing discussion on Tuesday, November 21 at 12:00 PM PST / 1:00 PM  MST for a discussion on supporting trans athletes in your schools.

The film and discussion are open to educators in BC, Yukon, and Alberta. Registrants will receive access to the film by email on November 13th. A recording of the Zoom discussion will also be provided to registrants after the event.

Physical Health Education is one place where there are often questions around how to include transgender students, particularly in competitive sports. In BC, while transgender students have the right to play on the sports team that aligns with their gender identity, there are still many barriers to participation.

Check out our suggested reading for educators and administrators regarding the inclusion of Transgender, Non-Binary and Two Spirit in Physical Health Education, a 2021 publication from SFU by A. Travers and K. J. Reed.


If you made use of these resources, we would love to hear how your lessons went and any other feedback! Get in touch with us at info@outinschools.com.

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